Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Application of 2D-HPLC/taste dilution analysis on taste compounds in aniseed (Pimpinella anisum L.).

PMID 25186288


This is the first application of fully automated, preparative, two-dimensional HPLC combined with sensory analysis for taste compound discovery using a sweet and licorice-like bitter-tasting aniseed extract as an example. Compared to the traditional iterative fractionation of food extracts by sensory-guided sequential application of separation techniques, the fully automated 2D-HPLC allowed the comprehensive separation of the aniseed extract into 256 subfractions and reduced the fractionation time from about 1 week to <1day. Using a smart sensory strategy to locate high-impact fractions, e.g., by evaluating first-dimension fractions by reconstituting them from second-dimension subfractions, followed by straightforward application of the taste dilution analysis on the individual second-dimension subfractions revealed the sweet-tasting trans-anethole and the bitter-tasting trans-pseudoisoeugenol 2-methylbutyrate, showing recognition thresholds of 70 and 68 μmol/L, respectively, as the primary orosensory active compounds in aniseed. 2D-HPLC combined with smart sensory analysis seems to be a promising strategy to speed the discovery of the key players imparting the attractive taste of foods.